Into the Wild Blue Yonder…

Attention fellow travelers.

Frequent Flyers.  Wayfaring Winged Warriors.  Cloud Crusaders for your Company. Defenders of Overhead BinsMissionaries of those airport Monitors.  Expedition Experts.  And just tourists out for an enjoyable flight.

This is for you!

If you have ever sat for hours in a seat meant to hold a chihuahua with your elbows in and hands in your lap and Bubba sitting next to/on you…I understand.

If you have ever waited at the baggage claim, making a mental note of what you packed in case you need to file a lost luggage claim…been there.

If you have ever wanted to ask a TSA Agent,”Who in the hell pissed in your corn flakes today?”, I suggest don’t do it.

Traveling can suck…or it can be a pleasure.  But mostly it sucks nowadays.  Almost every flight is full or over-booked.  We are all in a hurry…have to be somewhere three hours ago…and no one else matters.

I travel for my job.  No big deal.  It is part of the job.  I accept it and do not complain about it.  Actually there are some things that are nice about the traveling for my work.  I work for a great company with great products.  I usually call on people I know and like, so the meetings are usually pleasant.  I get to venture to a new restaurant, or a favorite I had been to previously.  Sometimes I can find solace while I travel in a good book or my iPod.  I have a good job and every day I thank God for it.

But when you travel, you can not help but “find” the pitfalls of travel…or perhaps they just tend to “find” you.   You know it is bad when you are scheduling your flights, looking at what cities are involved with connecting flights, and making your decisions based on the food that is available in the terminals of those cities!

So, leaving out the TSA, I have put together in no particular order, my top pet peeves with airline travel:

  • Overhead bins/Carry on luggage: As soon as those geniuses who run the airlines began to charge for checked luggage, more people began carrying on more luggage.  More shopping bags…More trash bags…More steamer trunks…More stuff crammed into small spaces.  I can testify to having seen, and cringed, as a roller bag was crammed into the overhead bin, crushing someone’s jacket or coat in the process.  No worries, the luggage fit.  That is all that counts!
  • Cell phones: We all know him.  And we know his wife, children, golfing buddies, administrative assistant and much, much more than we want to know…simply because he is always talking loud.  Here is a vowel for you…”Y”.  Why must you share all the details of your conversation with us?  Use your “inside voice”.  You fail to notice our eyes rolling, you miss the glaring looks and you can’t even hear the snide comments come your way because you are talking so loud.  We don’t care if the warehouse missed the shipment.  We don’t care what you plan on doing to little jimmy when you get home.  Quiet…please.
  • Backpacks: I know this seems innocuous…but so do nail clippers and I have had them taken away at TSA screening.  If you are wearing a backpack on your back (as opposed to carrying it) please be aware that when you turn to the side, that hump on your back is swung like a weapon in the other direction.  We know you are not aware when you knock someone who is sitting in an aisle seat, in the head.  We understand that it is easier, for you, to strap your luggage on your back like a camel.  But the aisles in an airplane are pretty narrow.  Keep that in mind before you go knocking that 8 month old baby in the head and waking him up in time for our three-hour flight.
  • Hygiene: This covers a lot of area, so with no pun intended, I will address a few key points. 1. If you sit in one seat, and you “spill” into one or more other seats, buy another ticket or take a bus.  2.  If you have just participated in an event that made you perspire heavily, have been working outside in 90+ degree heat or have been cleaning fish, take a shower, or at least splash yourself with some Brut, please.  3. If you are wearing shoes, and I can smell your feet…see #24.  Tank tops and “wife beaters” should not be allowed to wear on a plane.  This is an inappropriate  choice of clothing.  We do not want to see your armpit hair, nipple hair, zits on your back, or “side-boobage” regardless of your gender.  5.  If you are waiting for your flight, and you are inclined to eat a bean burrito…DON’T DO IT.  Step away from the line.  We all understand how difficult it can be to control bodily functions…it is difficult sometime to control what comes out of your body.  But you can control what goes in your body!  Your fart may not stink to you, but to the rest of us who are gasping for air, that blue cloud coming out of your body stinks!
  • Exiting the Plane: I shouldn’t even need to say this.  But “children” (of all ages)…wait your turn!  We know how important you are and that you have to hurry and get to where you need to be…but the same goes for all of us.  Exiting a plane is really very simple.  Go in order.  Take your turn.  Do not be like that driver at the 4-way stop who is behind someone but tries to sneak through at the same time as the car in front of them.  Note to parents: take the advice from CSN&Y…teach your children well.

I know that Diana and the boys think I am getting a bit grumpy as I get older, but if you are a Wayfarer of the Wild Blue Yonder, you have probably experienced some of these and understand what I am saying.

In keeping with the Wild Blue Yonder theme, I have chosen a cocktail to share that dates back before Amelia Earhart and Howard Hughes.  The Aviation.  So, with your feet on the ground, take flight with this classic cocktail…

The Aviation

  • 2 oz Plymouth gin
  • 1/2 to 3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
  • 1 tsp. Creme de Violette Liqueur
  • Mix all the ingredients together in a cocktail shaker with crushed ice. Shake vigorously for 10-20 seconds.  Strain into a coup or martini glass allowing tiny flecks of ice to flow in the glass.  Garnish with a lemon twist.   (Note:  as with many cocktail recipes, adjust the lemon and maraschino to taste.  However do not be tempted to substitute something for the Luxardo Maraschino liqueur…you will only make a drink that is nothing like the one intended.)

If you look this drink up, you will find several recipe versions.  Post-prohibition, the recipe above was printed with an error…they erroneously left out the Creme de Violette.  So for many years it was left out of the drink…until recently re-discovered.  If you make it with the Creme de Violette, you will find out, perhaps, how it got its name…

While we have noted that the aisles on a plane are narrow, and the seats are even narrower, we conclude that space is a premium.

But we are all traveling.

And we are all living on this earth together, where space is also a premium.

In both places, we are together.  Let’s show each other the respect we all deserve.  Be polite…please and thank you’s are good…a show of appreciation is a plus.

So whether our heads are in the clouds or we are planted on the ground with an Aviation cocktail, tolerance helps.

Cheers to our lives together…respect for one another…and tolerance as needed…even for TSA.

(By the way, the Creme de Violette gives the Aviation a nice sky blue hue…perhaps that is how the name came about?)


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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Oh so sadly, I agree with all of your points… My worst 4 hour flight was spent with a snoring man’s elbow firmly implanted in my rib cage. I was already smashed against the window and I couldn’t seem to dislodge it. I probably should have nudged him but I didn’t. I did try to reposition his elbow but it was unmovable.
    I could have used a double Aviation – but then I would have had to go to the restroom… It was a long flight. Ironically, I was flying to Portland to present a conflict resolution seminar! 😉


    • The “experiences” are endless…


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